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Toto Wolff

Wolff dismisses Russell concern after Dutch GP practice

The Mercedes boss is confident George Russell can bounce back following a poor Friday.

To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes it is too early to draw any conclusions on the gap between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Dutch Grand Prix practice.

Seven-time F1 World Champion Hamilton was third and fourth quickest in the two sessions as teammate Russell endured a trickier Friday at Zandvoort, finishing only 11th and 14th in comparison, six and four-tenths respectively behind Hamilton.

Russell has struggled to match his compatriot this term but Wolff is confident he will be in contention come qualifying and the race.

"On the first runs this afternoon with the Medium tyres, he was very competitive and then when he put on the Softs, he wasn't anymore," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"But I wouldn't make too much [away], and [on Saturday] we will see.

"We learned a lot in the sessions, and we maybe did some things that weren't entirely positive, but it is those tiny steps that matter for the race."

Wolff not concerned

Since Mercedes introduced its radical upgrade at the Monaco Grand Prix, the intra-team battle between Russell and Hamilton has firmly swung in the favour of the latter.

Russell has only finished ahead once in the seven races since F1's visit to the Principality when Hamilton was penalised in Austria, whilst his only podium came in Spain.

On whether the upgrade direction had hampered Russell, Wolff insisted: "We must wait to see how this pans out and we have more data points.

'This race, Monza and Singapore are totally different tracks and then we can see whether there was a shift because of the update we introduced."

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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